Fitchner GmBH & Co. of Germany are BPC's Owners Engineers and are responsible for ensuring delivery of the project.It is the largest single and most complex project that has been undertaken in Botswana, with a total cost of P11.1 billion, including the associated infrastructure. Some key technical information on the major pieces include turbo alternators made by Shandong Jinan Power Factory, turbines are made by Dongfang, while CFB Boilers are manufactured by Wuxi.
The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila's report on the state of the power plant is as follows:Unit 1 was shut down on January 15, 2013 to attend to some teething problems such as steam leaks, air leaks, operational problems in the limestone system and some ash system leakages. The new repot states that this unit will be ready by mid-March as indicated by the contractor.
Unit 2 was shut down on January 16, 2013 on account of a water leak inside the boiler sub systems. It is also expected to be complete by mid-March.
Unit 3. This is the unit that is currently generating power, is connected to the BPC transmission system and completed the prescribed tests on February 26, 2013.
Unit 4 is still under construction. Some commissioning activities are also undergoing construction while most of the remaining work entails insulation. All works at height were suspended for safety reasons in October 2012. The contractor is forecasting synchronisation to happen in March 2013 and thereafter Unit 4 will undergo prescribed tests before being declared ready for commercial use.
Although after tests, Units 1, 2 and 3 will be available for operation, the contractor has no obligation under the existing contract to operate the units, which is why there are ongoing discussions to have the units in full operation while conditions for taking over are being fulfilled.In the meantime, the economy is faced with a serious power supply and demand mismatch due to the delay of the 600mw Morupule B plant. Botswana has, in addition to 160mw coming from power peaking plants, signed a fresh power import deal with South Africa's Eskom. Under the new deal, Eskom is availing 100mw on a firm basis while another 200mw is made available on a non-firm basis from January 1, 2013 to July 31, 2013 when the Morupule B plant is expected to be fully commissioned.
While the new deal with Eskom is believed to be costlier than the last one which elapsed in December last year, the two power peaking plants will also weigh heavily on national coffers because they consume plenty of diesel. Power shortages, which have been experienced intermittently across the country over the past months, are expected to ease after June when Morupule becomes fully operational.